Beyoncé SLAYED in her music video for her new single “Formation” and she showed the whole world that she meant business by performing her new song at the Super Bowl 50 and announcing her “Formation World Tour” shortly after. Unfortunately, not everyone understood the slayage or the message of the Super Bowl 50 performance. Many were outraged and confused as to why Beyoncé felt the need to pay homage to the Black Panthers, have an all Black dance crew and use the word Negro in “Formation.” A lot of people didn’t seem to see that Beyoncé’s activism was necessary due to the fact that racism and police brutality still exist and presents a societal problem.
Travyon Martin. Sandra Bland. Tamir Rice. Eric Garner. Freddie Gray. Michael Brown.
All unarmed black individuals who died at the hands of the police.
Racism DOES exist and there MUST BE something wrong with the system in place.
I recently watched the Black-ish episode called “Twinnocence” that grappled with the reality of Black parents having to explain racial injustice via police brutality to their children. It broke the hearts of Dre and Rainbow Johnson from ABC‘s Black-ish to tell their beautiful Black children that the world will be unfair to them and those that look like them because of the uncontrollable color of their skin and not for anything that they had actually done wrong. And what scared the Johnson’s the most is that they could not protect their kids from this dreadful reality. That fear would always be there lurking around the corner, but they could hope for freedom, fight for justice, embrace their Blackness and boldly use their platforms (like Beyoncé did) to incite change.
So here is some inFormation to all who thought that Beyoncé’s “Formation” performance at the Super Bowl was distasteful, unnecessary or divisive.
- I think what a lot of white people experienced when watching the Beyoncé performance is something that most Black people experience when watching pretty much everything else. Most of what we see on our screens is white. It is extremely difficult to find black representation because most spaces are dominated by white people but yet that’s considered “normal.” So I believe Beyoncé’s performance was unsubtle because it needed to be unsubtle. It was a statement and statements are rarely subtle. Not only was it a statement, but she was paying homage to black history (i.e. Black Panthers, Michael Jackson, etc.) and reconciling the present because racism and hardship is not in the past.
- Racial discrimination and the system that doesn’t allow for any real black progress in society is a real thing even now. Literary works from Black leaders years ago reveal that even today we are still dealing with the same issues they were trying to address then. It’s easier for a white individual to say racism is in the past because it’s not something that they have to experience or think about daily. However, for Black people, racism is always staring them in face as soon as they open their eyes for a new day.
- Honestly, Black history is and should be everyone’s history. It should be something that is celebrated by everyone. It shouldn’t be weird that all of her dancers were Black. If it made people feel uncomfortable, then I would ask them why. Because in my opinion, Beyoncé was celebrating culture and the diversity within the human race through her performance. People are just so used to seeing white people on the screen that they freak out when people of color do the same.
- Beyoncé started this conversation because it was necessary. If the conversation was divided that was because there was division already there in the first place and now it’s just being brought up to the surface.
I am not even praising every part of the song, “Formation,” or every part of the Black Power or Black Panther movement. However, I AM pointing out something that Beyoncé did that made sense to me and made me feel a bit prouder to be a black woman in this country.